By Bruce Holland, Publisher
December has always been a time of excitement, peace, and fun for me! As a child it seemed to bring a lot of snow and we loved playing in the snow building snowmen in the front yard and digging out old clothes and a hat to put on them and then get Mom to judge which one was the best. Of course, she would always say she loved them all as she stood on the front stoop cold and shivering, then hustling us in for hot chocolate and cookies! We loved to build snow forts and have snowball fights and go sledding on the hill next door in front of Atlantic Memorial School for hours on end.
Even though there were eight of us kids we knew that there would be something special under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning and would inevitably toss and turn half the night wondering what it would be. After opening our gifts, we would go to church, and come home for that big Christmas turkey dinner. Oh, those were the days: carefree, not a worry in the world, except trying to stay awake in church after tossing and turning with excitement all night.
As we got older, and had our own children, it continued to be one of my favorite times of the year. I loved preparing for the Christmas season, knowing it would be a time to seek out special little gems for gifts for family and friends and then spending time together, which for me was so special. Midnight Mass became a tradition as we got older. Meeting everyone at Mom and Dad’s, enjoying some treats, getting to spend time with brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins, and friends who would drop by to extend Christmas greetings. Then off to mid-night Mass, which if I recall correctly, started at 11:00 pm. When we got home from church Dad would cook up some ham and eggs for everyone and we would each open one gift. Christmas day was spent with our own children having fun opening gifts, lots of treats and a big Christmas dinner, at lunch time, then off to visit the in-laws for more fun and food.
I remember those days vividly and with fondness! While things seem to have changed over the years, Mom, and Dad and many of our relatives and friends are gone now, and society has changed with technology and so called advancements, I can still close my eyes and remember those days fondly with a tear of joy rolling down my cheek as I reminisce those “good ole days!”
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!